Rico Love has only been in the music biz for a few years now, but he has already produced and written songs for some of the biggest artists in the industry, including funnyman-turned-vocalist Jamie Foxx.
Rico worked on quite a few tracks on Jamie’s most recent release. Best Night of My Life, and one was a song for the freaks.
“Ah man, I love ‘Freak.’ That song was actually done with [producer] Danger and myself, and I just wanted to make an anthem record,” said Rico. “You know, something everyone can relate to, a ’70s type of Black Panther vibe. That’s what I was thinking in my head when I was putting the track together–-kind of like the Declaration of Being a Freak.”
Rico also wrote and/or did vocal production on three other tracks on Jamie’s album, but Jamie made sure their collaboration wasn’t all work and no play.
“Working in the studio with Jamie was fun. He knew I was a huge fan of Stacey Dash, so he brought her in the studio and made me show her all the photos I had saved of her on my computer. That was so embarrassing,” remembered Rico. “I don’t know if you’ve seen a [dark-skinned] guy blush, but I was blushing like crazy.”
Although he was pretty certain of his future in the music arena, his career path as the guy at the mixing board, instead of at the mic, wasn’t crystal clear to Rico until he met another R&B great.
“The first time I realized I was a professional songwriter was with Usher. The first song I ever wrote was ‘Throwback’,” Rico recalled. “I was signed as a rapper, but when Usher gave me a beat to work with, he was like, ‘You know. I see so much potential in you as a songwriter and how you write your rhymes and structure your songs.’ From there, he gave me the beat and we’ve been working together ever since.”
The success of the “Throwback” track on Usher’s Confessions album was Rico’s wakeup call that songwriting was meant for him despite his passion for rapping.
“Sometimes things don’t work out like we plan them to, but I feel like God gave me that situation to open up that door to show me a talent that I didn’t know I even had,” said Rico.
Rico says his string of successful hits is not because he is full of amazing lyrics and metaphors, but because he is a fan of all of his clients.
“I write from the standpoint of a fan first and foremost. When I’m writing for people like Jamie Foxx, Usher or Beyonce the first thing that I think is ‘what would I want to hear from them to make me fall in love with them all over again?’” said Rico.
Rico is planning to take full advantage of opportunities to flex his music muscles in 2011. He has projects coming up with Usher, Mario, Kelly Rowland, Chris Brown, Pleasure P, Day26, Beyoncé, and some other artists that he’s developing.
Being creative and working with monster superstars every day can take a toll on anyone, but Rico says when you are living out your dreams no task is too exhausting.
–Marcus A. Williams